Solar Atmospheres Improves Materials Handling

HERMITAGE, Pa. – Solar Atmospheres of Western PA recently opened a new 15,000-square-foot building in Hermitage, Pa., that connects its two other structures and improves its operational flow.

The new building joins the company’s 80,000-square-foot workspace, which houses some of the largest vacuum furnaces in the world, to its 10,000-square-foot NADCAP laboratory, testing building and vacuum oil quenching building.

NADCAP is a global cooperative accreditation program for aerospace engineering, defense and related industries. The acronym stands for National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program.

The new building will create a clear and defined flow of work using a pull/push system, according to the company.

It will eliminate having incoming and outgoing jobs co-mingled in front of heat-treating equipment.

All incoming jobs will now be “pulled” from the new building and completed jobs will be “pushed” back to a designated outbound area, the company said in a news release.

The new space will also serve as a conduit for transfer of materials from production to final testing.

Its four new loading bays will allow for the loading and unloading of more than one truck at one time.

A drive-thru feature will allow

all flatbed trucks to load/unload indoors, thus keeping shipping personnel and equipment out of the elements.

“Material handling is now thoughtful and organized throughout

our 100,000-plus-square-foot facility,” says Wes Hoffman, shipping manager. “The new building has already proven to eliminate wasteful movement of material. This addition has also enhanced our overall safety. Instead of large trucks navigating our entire campus internally, we can now isolate trucks and drivers to the outer perimeter of the property.”

Pictured: Solar Atmospheres of Western PA operates more than 60 furnaces for vacuum heat treating and brazing services.